Born in 1958 - United States
Steven Siegel is an American photographer who has been taking pictures of New York over the last decades.
New York in the 1980s differed in two fundamental ways from the New York of today. First, 1980s-era New York was an edgier, riskier, dirtier, tenser, more dangerous and chaotic place. I think that fairly comes through in my images. Second, 1980s-era New York had a sense of wide-openess and freedom that was lost following 9/11 ... and likely never will be regained. A safer city, to some extent, comes at the price of a loss of freedom and openess.
Conversely, the edginess and riskiness of the 1980s came at an appalling human and social cost. My photos of South Bronx and Bushwick are—if i might say so—a testament to that. Those who might be nostalgic for the edginess and riskiness of the 1980s were surely not the people who were growing up in the South Bronx and Bushwick in the era. The trade-off between openess and security is reflected in a very literal way in some of my 1980s photos.
Although I have explored the city more than most, I can still find plenty of places that I've never encountered before... that are new to me, and surprising. One can never know it all! Even if one tried, a neighborhood would likely change by the time one got around to visiting it again!
I do know that, as long as I'm around, I'll be there—with my camera—to witness and record the changes in this remarkable city."
- Steven Siegel
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